University of Wisconsin Comes Up Short in Meeting Diversity Goals

A decade ago the University of Wisconsin system formulated a plan to increase racial and socioeconomic diversity at its 26 college and university campuses. In an analysis of the effort, called Plan 2008, the university system concedes it has come up short of its goals.

Minority students now make up 10.1 percent of total enrollments at the state-operated colleges and universities. This is an increase from 8.1 percent a decade ago.

The graduation rate for minority students is 23 percentage points below the rate for white students. This has widened during the course of Plan 2008.

About 74 percent of minority students who enter the system as freshmen return for their sophomore year. For whites, the figure is 80 percent. This retention rate gap has narrowed by only one percentage point.

An earlier 10-year plan that was initiated in 1987 sought to double the enrollment of minority students. That plan achieved about half its goal.

A new diversity plan is scheduled to be unveiled this spring.